Adrian Wong

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'Plastic is literally everywhere': the epidemic attacking Australia's oceans

While heading down the Brisbane river, Jim Hinds once pulled aboard a drunken half-naked man just seconds from “going down for the last time”.<p>But on this day, like most other days for Hinds, it’s back to the horribly predictable as he launches his boat into the Nerang river on Queensland’s Gold …

Pollution

Two-thirds of world population will live in cities by 2050, says UN

Two-thirds of people in the world will be living in cities by 2050 and the boom will be concentrated in India, China and Nigeria, according to United Nations estimates released on Wednesday.<p>The world’s rural population will peak in a few years then decline by 2050, according to the report by the …

Geography

The good

Marrakech marches to its own beat. The former imperial capital is as manic as Mardi Gras and as hip as Hollywood. Throw yourself in at the deep end …

Everything you need to know about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding

LONDON — This is a thing Britain does really well.<p>The monarch virtually invented pomp. You want regal pageantry, gilded spectacle, the royal Ascot Landau carriage pulled by a pair of father-and-son Windsor Grey horses? The Archbishop of Canterbury bedecked in his robes, the Choir of St. George’s …

Royal Family

Europe's most densely populated square kilometres – mapped

Prof Alasdair Rae at the University of Sheffield has crunched data from the Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL) to locate the densest square kilometre in every European country – the top 15 are shown below

University of Sheffield

Three dead and hundreds injured as Israeli troops open fire on Gaza border

Action against Palestinian protesters flares hours after UN criticism of Israel<p>Israeli troops have shot dead three protesters along the Gaza border, hours after the United Nations human rights chief criticised Israel for using “excessive force” against demonstrators.<p>Soldiers have killed 41 …

Israel

Miguel Díaz-Canel becomes Cuba's president, Raúl Castro steps down

Cuba has a new president, and for the first time in over 40 years, his last name is not Castro.<p>Miguel Díaz-Canel officially became president on Thursday morning after Raúl Castro stepped down and Díaz-Canel was confirmed by the National Assembly.<p>Castro, 86, will remain head of the Communist Party, …

Is the Gulf Stream about to collapse and is the new ice age coming sooner than scientists think?

Two new studies published in the scientific journal <i>Nature</i> have brought a new threat to the world’s attention: the shutdown of the Atlantic Ocean …

Rapid rise in mortality in England and Wales in early 2018 – an investigation is needed

In the first seven weeks of 2018, over 10,000 (12.4%) more people died in England and Wales than was usual for the time of year. No official …

Geography

Origins and Destinations of the World’s Migrants, 1990-2017

Explore origin and destination totals of migrants from 233 countries between 1990 and 2017.

Kim Jong-un Met With Xi Jinping in Secret Beijing Visit

BEIJING — North Korea’s enigmatic young leader, Kim Jong-un, made an unannounced visit to Beijing, meeting with President Xi Jinping weeks before planned summit meetings with American and South Korean leaders, Chinese and North Korean state news media reported on Wednesday.<p>The visit amounted to Mr. …

North Korea

Empty half the Earth of its humans. It's the only way to save the planet | Kim Stanley Robinson

There are now twice as many people as 50 years ago. But, as EO Wilson has argued, they can all survive – in cities<p>Discussing cities is like talking about the knots in a net: they’re crucial, but they’re only one part of the larger story of the net and what it’s supposed to do. It makes little sense …

Urbanization

The past 48 hours in rising US-North Korea tensions, explained

Here’s how a military exercise, a German intelligence assessment, and South Korean “artillery killers” might raise tensions with North Korea.<p>The past 48 hours suggests that the relative period of calm between the United States and North Korea may soon come to an end — and that’s as scary as it …

North Korea

The nerve agent poisoning in England was a message to the rest of the world

‘You won’t be safe anywhere, even if you’re in Britain’<p>The nerve agent attack on former Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter sends a powerful message to the rest of the world: the assassins aren’t playing by the rules.<p>On March 4th, Skripal and his daughter Yulia were hospitalized …

Nerve Agents

Plight of Phoenix: how long can the world’s 'least sustainable' city survive?

Set deep in the Valley of the Sun, the lush and sprawling ‘megapolis’ has a problem – the rivers<p>Jennifer Afshar and her husband, John, pushed their bikes across the grass and paused to savour the sunshine, while their two boys went to look at the duck pond. Other kids were playing soccer or doing …

Los Angeles

Sergei Skripal: Russia expels 23 UK diplomats as row deepens

Moscow also shuts down all activities of British Council in retaliatory move after expulsion of Russian diplomats<p>Moscow is to expel 23 UK diplomats and shut down the British Council in Russia amid increasing tensions over a nerve agent attack against a former double agent and his daughter on …

The Starbucksification of independent cafes

Dublin’s artisanal outlets are as complicit in homogenisation of the city as major chains<p>Fri, Apr 14, 2017, 12:58<p>In 2013, Caitlin Moran wrote a …

Whitney Houston

China's government may be moving away from its two-child policy as birth rates continue to plummet

China announced plans to scrap the commission charged with managing the country's two-child policy on Tuesday, as part of a large restructuring of its ministries.<p>The National Health and Family Planning Commission was the agency responsible for managing the country's birth limits and fining parents …

The Nerve Agent Too Deadly to Use, Until Someone Did

LONDON — For nearly three decades, since a Soviet whistle-blower told the world of its existence, the nerve agent Novichok has scared American weapons experts. The Pentagon sent teams to destroy abandoned laboratories that once produced the chemical, believed to be orders of magnitude more lethal …

Nerve Agents

Britain Expels 23 Russian Diplomats Over Ex-Spy’s Poisoning

LONDON — Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain expelled 23 Russian diplomats on Wednesday over the poisoning of a former Russian spy on British soil, raising tensions between the two countries to a level not seen since the heights of the Cold War. She vowed to crack down on Russian spies, corrupt …

Russia

Stephen Hawking, science's brightest star, dies aged 76

I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first Stephen Hawking<p>There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark Stephen Hawking<p>My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why …

Stephen Hawking

Melania Knew

Dear America: Come on, you can’t be serious.<p>The ongoing saga over a president, a porn star and a payoff is so lewd and tawdry that it can’t simply be added to the ever-expanding list of horrible misbehaviors of a womanizing misogynist.<p>It’s not even the infidelity that most bothers me. I view that …

Donald Trump

North Korea Asks for Direct Nuclear Talks, and Trump Agrees

WASHINGTON — North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has invited President Trump to meet for negotiations over its nuclear program, an audacious diplomatic overture that would bring together two strong-willed, idiosyncratic leaders who have traded threats of war.<p>The White House said that Mr. Trump had …

North Korea

This urban population is leading the world in life expectancy

<b>Hong Kong (CNN) —</b> Skyscrapers for as far as you can see, people walking toward you from all angles on densely packed streets, lights flashing almost everywhere and a subway that typically gets you where you want to go in under 30 minutes.<p>This is life with more than 7 million people living on a …

Hong Kong

World's oldest message in a bottle discovered in Australia, sent from Germany

More than 130 years ago a German ship threw a message overboard. It eventually buried itself on a remote Australian beach, and turned out to be part …

Yes, bacon really is killing us

Decades’ worth of research proves that chemicals used to make bacon do cause cancer. So how did the meat industry convince us it was safe? By Bee Wilson<p>There was a little cafe I used to go to that did the best bacon sandwiches. They came in a soft and pillowy white bap. The bacon, thick-cut from a …

Sandwiches

The Last Families Living in Tunisia's Underground Houses

Reuters photographer Zohra Bensemra recently spent time in southern Tunisia's Djebel Dahar region, where locals have lived in underground homes for centuries. The cave houses, also known as troglodyte houses, offer protection against the extremes of summer and winter in the arid desert. A cluster …

China pushes back against criticism of plan for Xi to stay in power

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's plan for President Xi Jinping to remain in office indefinitely has sparked social media opposition, drawing comparisons to North Korea's ruling dynasty and prompting a Hong Kong pro-democracy activist to accuse it of creating a dictator.<p>The social media reaction late on …

Syria: fresh fighting in eastern Ghouta despite UN-ordered ceasefire

Offensives seen as Assad regime’s bid to eliminate opposition and as challenge to security council’s authority<p>Syrian regime forces launched a fresh ground and air offensive on Sunday against rebel positions in the besieged and battered enclave of eastern Ghouta in defiance of a nationwide ceasefire …

Middle East